I'll chime in as a parent.... (OK, this may be a condescending opening I'm stating my authority as a parent, trying to trump her assumptions as
Language in general is becoming worse and worse on TV. Three shows this year (2 already cancelled) had implied profanity in the name of the show.
*&%@ my dad days
GCB - Good Christian Bitches (not belles)
Don't Trust the B* in Apt 23.
Ass, bitch, douche, slut, are all now commonplace, and now penis, breasts, vagina, hooters, and the scatological references are increasingly used.
This trend makes me sad for several reasons.
1 - It doesn't make the dialogue any better. It's lazy writing and proves a total loss of creativity. When the "F-bomb" is dropped, it means that the writers have officially run out of ideas. When was the last time you heard "Fuck" in a way that actually improved the meaning of the sentence, not just as an intensifier. Do we really need to add the F-word to the Interjection song?
2 - It makes good stories un-watchable as a family. I do not want my kids using this kind of language, so I don't use it around them, and so I won't have them watch shows that use them. This limits my choices to Disney and Power Rangers and various ads for churches.
OK, before you yell out "Hypocrite! I've read your blog, you cuss all the time." I still believe that here are adult situations that are appropriate for adults and not for kids. Most of us have the Adult Content screen on our blogs for good reason. We deal with sex, but not just sex, but adult themes that are not appropriate for kids. I'm OK with that. When my kids are old enough to make sense of adult themes they will be able to handle it, but, before they get there, I will (hopefully) have taught them how to express themselves intelligently, analyze good and bad, right and wrong, and act accordingly (meaning that they will not turn out like me at all)
3 - It reflects a loss of compassion. The language of today is harsh, angry, aggressive, crude, lacking in respect or grace or humor. Jokes are mean spirited, situations are more humiliating, and the premise of many of the shows all focus on casual sex, lack of caring for others, and poor view of women beyond their sexuality.
Again, I speak to the idea that language matters. It shapes the way we think, and I honestly don't understand the feminist defense of this kind of language. If I learn to equate WOMAN with BITCH through the words I use and the images that are associated with them, then all women are bitches.
If "YO! Bitch, get me a beer." is acceptable then the actions and assumptions behind that phrase are also acceptable. Instead of "Honey, can I get you a drink while I'm up" it turns in to a command, an expression of dominance, or, to use the parlance of those who defend it, it becomes an expression of assumed male privilege.
I use the words SLUT and WHORE very carefully. It can be an honorific, a term of endearment, or a horribly angry, cutting word, and to the woman who hears them. I know that there is a movement to empower "SLUT" to be a word claimed for women, but that's still in the wishful thinking stage. It's like the Gay Community thinking that the emotion behind "Queer" has changed because they want it to change. Words change meaning very slowly, putting them out in popular culture just gives the misogynists an excuse to use them. Do you really think that racists make a distinction between Nigger and Nigga? Don't kid yourself.I do NOT want all shows to be after school specials, I get that, but the language is depressing, it's offensive, it's harsh, and exclusionary to those who are trying to raise kids with a higher sense of self.
When TV had it's "Golden Age" all of the actors where white, the beds were twins, pajamas were long sleeved and floor length, and Ozzie never got to tie Harriet to the bed and ream her ass with a 9" dildo. I get that too. I had to stop my kids from watching "The Simpsons" as the language on that show got worse and worse. My kids didn't want to finish "Some Kind of Wonderful" because of the bad language, and they chose their friends based on how they behave, how they talk, and what they believe in. These are all decisions I've helped them make on their own.When your child is 6, do you want them coming home and greeting you with, "That fucking bitch teacher of mine just chaps my ass!"? You may not expose your kids to TV but ALL of your child's friends will be exposed to it, and they will gladly pass it on to your kids.
And good luck not using TV as a babysitter when you haven't showered for 3 days, James is at work, and you have guests coming over in 45 minutes. TV is the world's most reliable baby-sitter. I have three kids and I actually laughed out loud when I read that paragraph. Seriously, it cracked me up. Good luck on that one. When I had my 2nd kid (well, the wife did all the work), I asked my mom if she ever used the TV as a babysitter. She laughed too (maybe it's genetic) and said that she used to plop my brother and sister in front of the TV with the sound turned off so she could teach piano lessons in peace. She said they didn't watch for very long and would drift off to other toys, but it kept them quiet.
There are really few things more entertaining than listening to "soon to be parents" lay out their plans for child rearing. "Only organic vegetables, no McDonalds, never a nugget, "breastfed or dead", no TV, no guns, no_____ , no _____, it goes on and on, and if L&L is reading this, please don't be offended, it's not just you, it's every new parent. EVERY ONE has lofty ideals, and, like weight loss resolutions, we are all eating the peanut butter by March.
As a community, we have to decide what the minimum standards are for decent behavior, and language on TV is a indication of where we are going. For many of us, it makes us worry.
OK, so this rant has gone on for a while and is pretty pointless, I know. And yes, as a sex-blogger I use language that I don't want on TV, I don't want it on CNN, I don't really want it in most movies. I saw "The Black Swan" yesterday and LOVED it, but there was a single curse-word that improved the movie. There were a lot of them, but none of them helped.My friends curse, my friend's kids curse, and it makes them sound awful, uneducated, and crass. Can you imagine Charles Dickens "Oliver" being any more powerful if, instead of "Please sir, I want some more." we got, "Hey, bitch, give me more fuckin' soup!"
I think not.
I don't know if Love and Lust read's my blog, I doubt she does, but I LOVE hers, and none of this is meant to be a slam on her personally, she just touched on a topic that hit a trip wire of mine, no matter how illogical that may be. Her blog is great, she is beautiful, and now that she's pregnant, she is hotter than ever.
Now that you are done with the serious stuff, go check out her Tumblr. Seriously, go now. GO!